Sudan, ancient Nubia, is home to many unique natural and archaeological treasures. This land of the black pharaohs has even has more pyramids than its famous neighbour, Egypt – yet there are no visitors, no tourists, and no foreign travellers. Cut off from the rest of the world, Sudan, a former save haven for international terrorists, is now one of the most unstable countries on the planet.
Since gaining independence in 1956, the country has experienced 18 coup attempts. After thirty years under the military-Islamist dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan experienced a brief period of democracy in 2019. This was short-lived however, as the country was subject to a new coup which bought General al-Burhan and his military junta to power in October 2021. Since then, Sudan has been completely closed off from the rest of the world.
Every week, thousands of citizens gather around the country to protest coup d’état – and women are the face of this revolution. They yearn for freedom after years of suffering under military dictatorship and sharia law, where they were routinely flogged and humiliated. One women explained her involvement in the fight for freedom, “We distribute these paint cans around the neighbourhood to announce our protests and we will write slogans in favour of the revolution”. By spraying these words of dissent around the city, these women risk prison and torture. Although the protesters know that they will be fiercely repressed and try to protect themselves the best they can, they can only make do with temporary shields and plastic helmets. Nothing to shelter them from the live bullets shot by the army – which even target doctors and young children. All the while, they run the risk falling victim to the relentless arbitrary arrests.
The political crisis has also worsened the economic situation with inflation rate running at 380%. Even before the coup, Sudan was one of the poorest countries in the world, now however, even middle-class people are finding it increasingly difficult to survive. More than two million city-dwellers have left to seek their fortune in the desert just to get by. There, they hope to find a few nuggets of gold to change their life…